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Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades.

Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 2 million monthly readers. While there, Paul authored and edited thousands of financial research briefs, was published on Nasdaq. com, Yahoo Finance, and dozens of other prominent media outlets, and appeared as a guest expert at prominent radio shows and i...

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Updated August 5, 2020

What is a Watch List?

A watch list is a list of securities that regulators, brokerages, research firms, or other entities are interested in monitoring.

How Does a Watch List Work?

Watch lists can be good or bad. An investor can start a watch list, for example, of stocks that he or she wants to keep current on and receive news alerts about.

For example, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch evaluate companies, countries, states and other entities and assign a creditworthiness rating. These evaluations involve reviewing a company’s competitive environment, financial performance and management ability. When the ratings agency has concerns about a company in light of its current rating and wants to see how the company performs for a while before changing the company’s credit rating, it puts the company on a watch list. This means the agency may lower the company's credit rating.

Why Does a Watch List Matter?

Being placed on a watch list can be harmful to a company’s shareholders and lenders because it is generally a predecessor to receiving a lower credit rating, regulatory investigation or other significant negative event. As mentioned, however, being placed on a watch list can also be a benign event.

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Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 2 million monthly readers.

If you have a question about Watch List, then please ask Paul.

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